Use of P200-B Malampaya fund, up to Congress – DBM

UNTV News   •   November 9, 2017   •   4589

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) is ready to cooperate with any investigation that will be initiated on the controversial Malampaya fund.

This stemmed from the Commission on Audit report that questioned the use of 184 Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) amounting to around P38-billion.

The said orders were done under the Arroyo and Aquino administrations.

A big chunk of the fund were allocated to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Department of Agriculture.

The Malampaya fund was designed to be used exclusively for exploration activities and other activities related to energy resources.

“So when you release money for construction of roads, or maybe even giving subsidy for drivers, the jeepney drivers, to me that is not the appropriate use of the fund, right?” said DBM Sec. Benjamin Diokno.

To date, there are P200-billion left in the fund, which the DBM leaves to Congress to decide for its proper allocation.

“We have to change the purpose of that fund, because the government is no longer involved in this activity.  It’s a private sector or a joint venture activity. So that P200-billion fund, for all practical purposes, is very difficult to access that or used that, so might as well give it to the treasury and let Congress appropriate the money for our purposes,” Diokno said.

He added that they have not and will not conduct any changes in the guidelines on the use of the said controversial fund. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue

 

PH bans poultry meat from Poland

Marje Pelayo   •   January 28, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities announced an import ban on poultry meat coming from Poland based on a memorandum order issued by the Department of Agriculture (DA) dated January 21.

The ban covers the importation of all domesticated and wild birds even eggs and sperm from Polish chickens.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) reported an outbreak of bird flu or avian influenza with a subtype of H5N8 in Poland today.

“Gusto natin na ma-maintain natin sa free tayo,” explained BAI Director Ronnie Domingo.

“Ang posible lang na makapasok ay ang migratory birds or ang mga importation natin ng poultry coming from other countries. Kaya pagka ganyan na may report na sa ibang bansa, stop na,” he said.

BAI also noted an outbreak of bird flu from April to September 2017 in several municipalities in Central Luzon which impacted several farms in the region.

Thousands of fowls were culled to curb the spread of the disease.

But Domingo clarified that since the mid of 2018, the Philippines reported it has controlled the virus and eventually declared the country bird-flu free to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

A total of five countries were recommended to issue an import ban but it was Poland which the DA approved first, Domingo concluded. – MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

DPWH: 2 road sections in Batangas still on lockdown

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 23, 2020

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said there are two road sections in Batangas that are still on lockdown following the advice of local government units (LGUs).

As of January 22 at 8:00 a.m., the Tanauan–Talisay–Tagaytay Road and Talisay–Laurel–Agoncillo Road remain closed due to the Taal eruption.

“As a safety precaution for personnel, clearing of ashfall, hauling of ashes, and pruning of trees on road sections are being implemented outside the 14-kilometer radius danger zone while clearing operations in areas within the danger zone were temporarily suspended,” the DPWH said in a statement.

All road sections in NCR, Regions III, and IV-B were reported to be passable to all types of vehicles.

Meanwhile, around 500 personnel and 103 equipment are deployed in Region 4-A to provide necessary assistance, including transportation of relief goods to evacuation centers of areas affected.—AAC

DPWH: EDSA traffic congestion to be reduced by 20-30% in 2020

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 22, 2020

The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said the traffic congestion on EDSA might be reduced by 20-30% as several infrastructure projects are set to be completed by 2020.

The DPWH said that once the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 is completed by April, there would be a reduction of around 100,000 vehicles on EDSA.

This is apart from the 30,000 trucks set to be reduced once the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Harbor Link Segment 10 opens in March.

“With the second half of this year, we will relieve EDSA of 20-30 percent. Malaki po ang (There is a lot of) improvement in EDSA and for the first year, starting this year and in subsequent years, we will see continued improvement along EDSA,” according to DPWH Secretary Mark Villar.

The department official also believes that once all the infrastructure projects are completed, EDSA’s vehicle capacity might return to 280,000 vehicles. At present, there are around 400,000 vehicles plying along EDSA everyday.

“I can say at this point, we will deliver in the promise to bring back EDSA to its original capacity,” Villar said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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